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How young is too young?

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  • How young is too young?

    I mailed most of my carvings home so they wouldn't break on the re-deployment, and my son asked if I could teach him how to carve. Aside from the obvious problem of me mostly (99%) making it up as I go along, I was wondering at what age is it reasonable to teach them some simple carving? I don't think I will survive the wrath of mommy if they get hurt.

  • #2
    Re: How young is too young?

    wook i was started to larn carving in 13 ......bat bifor that i was have 2 yarse peiting and skullptorind ,,,,this i eas niid to undastend tha dorm and ornament ,,,,


    • #3
      Re: How young is too young?

      thats a good idea to get them started with scuplting and painting thanks!!
      че е добра идея да ги започна със скулптура и живопис, благодаря



      • #4
        Re: How young is too young?

        It depends on the child and their level of maturity. I know adults I would hesitate to teach to carve as they can't concentrate well enough in my opinion. At carving club you see people wave a knife around as they talk..loss of focus is what gets people hurt, not age or strength. Kids can always carve soap. model clay, and other art activities that don't involve sharp knives. With Halloween coming up why not invest in a pumpkin carving kit (with the plastic tools)and try and tackle one of those complex cut outs (patterns included in the kits) that you see on TV. Classes at your local art institute or school might be available for kids in sculpture from professionals.....whatever you do encourage the kids interest and nurture it as much as you can. I can't imagine how wonderful and fun it would be to have my kids as carving buddies....go for it!!!!


        • #5
          How young is too young?

          I have two grandchildren, ages 12 and 10. I have been teaching them to carve and they are both quite responsible and mature. Each has a carving kit, but their mother insists that they only carve when I am over for a visit. We always find a quiet spot and concentrate on our whittling.

          It always scares me a little when they work with a knife, but I recall that I carved things with a boy called Harvey Harkness, when I was their age. Harvey was a talented, self-taught carver. Even at age 10, he could carve a hunting knife, an arrowhead and small knick knacks without difficulty. I didn't have Harvey's skills, but I did learn from Harvey's techniques. I watched him and copied his every move. Over time, I was able to do some of the same carvings. They weren't as pretty as Harvey's, but over time, I did improve.

          Picture us in a small town Ontario, circa 1955, sitting on the back stoop, whittling the summer afternoon away. Ah, those were the days.


          • #6
            Re: How young is too young?

            I agree that a lot depends on the kid. I started my neighbors when they were 9 years old. I modified a good bench knife to fit their hands, got gloves and went at it. Here's some observations:

            Teach one on one not two or three at a time.
            Limit the time to no more than 15 minutes per session.
            Try to eliminate all distractions (dogs, cats, friends, etc)
            Keep your eyes on them when ever they have a knife in their hands.
            Start simple.
            Praise, praise, praise!

            Some will pick it up fast, and others......well!
            I had the 9 years old buy a Dremel cordless and "practice" when ever she wanted. The results are amazing.....I know some will cringe at the thought of introducing power, but in my opinion it provides lots of practice at shaping wood, that doesn't need the constant attention of the "teacher". We still go back to the knife when ever we can get together for one on one.

            Tom H


            • #7
              Re: How young is too young?

              Bart you have received excellent information on teaching young children carving,i raised five children and now as a grand parent to six,two boys and three girls,I discovered that
              one my grand kids a girl was more attuned to carving,but early start in using cell phones
              with all of the incredible gadgets has taken over their young lives.It is very commendable
              that your children want to learn how to carve,I also believe in short carving sessions as
              mentioned before young kids have so many things going on in their young minds that only
              they can sort them out. However when you get home and you find time to carve,having the child that is most interested in carving watch you carve simple projects,kids learn
              better while watching other perform.

              By the way thank you for your Military Service,I know how wonderful it feels comming home from deployment,
              Semper Fi


              • #8
                Re: How young is too young?

                Thank you all for the great advice, think i'll start them on clay and move up to soap. It will be nice to spend some one on one time before I lose them to the internet and the mall.